For years, people have paid homage to New York City, its 5 boroughs and “air that when inhaled is like smoking a Newport.” And according to infamous battle rapper Iron Solomon, the heart of the city lies within him on his latest video release The Empire. Solo gets one of NY’s favorite lyricists, Talib Kweli, to go toe-to-toe with concepts that most NY-born and bred MCs pride themselves upon: being able to make it off the streets. While Iron travels the road often traveled with the hometown tribute, he takes the beaten path away from his familiar home, the battle zone, and gets behind the boards with comrad Isaiah to sample a familiar sound that even Kanye himself had to try once or twice. Definitely one that would show the naysayers that the dude can make a record, The Empire is Iron Solomon’s opening to something bigger than himself; maybe even bigger than New York City? For more from the man of Iron check out DJBooth’s release of Solomon’s last mixtape, Redrum Radio and scoop up his latest full-length album, Monster, out now via iTunes.